Kendal

Best Version of DnD?

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Posted (edited)

That just sounds like a terrible DM rather than a Monty Haul. Though to be fair not every item has to have a use. We just got really lucky that our DM rolled these items. He was rolling them on the fly, and as they came up he was actually groaning. When the Belt of Cloud Giant's Strength came up at the very end he actually said "I just elfed myself with this one." And spent a minute debating rerolling it before he said "Screw it, I gave everyone else exactly what was rolled so I might as well do it here too." And so we've now got a Goliath Fighter5 /Barbarian 1 with a strength of 27, a Goliath Barbarian 6 with a cloak that turns into 6 angelic wings for an hour at least twice per day, and a Dwarf Wizard 6 that has a cloak of protection.

 

In general Monty Hauls can be extremely fun, though they do get boring after a while as players can, and probably will, get super overpowered to the point that they're killing things that are way above their level without breaking a sweat. When nothing is a challenge except designing a challenging encounter, then the game isn't fun for anybody anymore.

 

Since we're doing a DM rotation and carrying the same characters around, I'm currently wondering how to plan around these various items that we just got for my next stint in the chair. The Wings of Flying take a lot of danger out of multiple of White Plume Mountain's traps, because they rely on players being very limited in their movement types. And the Belt of Cloud Giant's Strength has the potential to muck up a lot of things from here on out, as it's the type of item that you'll probably never have a character get rid of unless they come across a Belt of Storm Giant's Strength instead. But I'll figure things out. After all, I can't be angry at the players for using things the way they're meant to be used.

Edited by Unruly

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56 minutes ago, Unruly said:

That just sounds like a terrible DM rather than a Monty Haul.

Terrible DMs can still be Monty Haul DMs...

 

59 minutes ago, Unruly said:

Since we're doing a DM rotation and carrying the same characters around, I'm currently wondering how to plan around these various items that we just got for my next stint in the chair.

Well it's all about interpretations. Flying across the disc things still means they can still be struck by the geyser. Doing it in the oiled cylinder doesn't mean when the fire lights up they won't get roasted.

Belt of Giant Strength + nat 1 = stumbling and punching a huge hole into the bubble where the Giant Enemy Crab is.

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

Terrible DMs can still be Monty Haul DMs...

Yea, but I mean it's not really a Monty Haul if only one person, who also happens to be the DM, is actually making off with anything of any use and everyone else is getting constantly screwed.

 

3 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

Well it's all about interpretations. Flying across the disc things still means they can still be struck by the geyser. Doing it in the oiled cylinder doesn't mean when the fire lights up they won't get roasted.

Belt of Giant Strength + nat 1 = stumbling and punching a huge hole into the bubble where the Giant Enemy Crab is.

 

Yea, but flying across means that it takes mere seconds and one person can ferry everyone in the party across in the time it takes for the fast geyser to erupt once. Jumping across is both time consuming and inherently like 100x more difficult because of the number of checks involved and how each person would have to either cross on their own or have one person cross and then string a rope across the chasm, which reduces the number of checks for everyone else but still takes much more time as the party slowly crawls across. Granted, any party with an arcane spellcaster and access to third level spells could probably manage to cast Fly on one of their members to accomplish the same thing, but a spell slot is a much more valuable resource than a few hours of cooldown on an item.

 

I know that the object of the game isn't for the DM to "win" or to kill the players, but I promised them a classic dungeon crawl and I plan on delivering one. And part of that experience is the difficulty.             

Edited by Unruly
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Not so much Monty Haul, but last Pathfinder campaign I did, there were two magical items that were either overpowered or underpowered.

 

- Overpowered: An intelligent sword, family heirloom, low level artifact. Expected to be powerful in combat, and was. One of the secondary powers was Air Walk, 3/day. The problem was that with the 20th lvl caster level, the sword user could maintain the Air Walk 10 hours a day, more than enough for a day of dungeon crawl, and the adventure did not take this into account. "There's a pit trap... oh right, you don't fall". "Make a swim check... oh right, you don't drown". "Make a balance check over those beams... oh right, you don't fall and walk beside the beams". "The creature is hovering near the ceiling and... oh right, you walk up to it". If I ever GM it again, I will greatly reduce that ability's duration.

 

- Underpowered: A magical ceremonial tea set. Make a complete tea ceremony for a small party, whole party temporarily gains the power of the Heroism spell. Ceremony takes 1-2 hours. Spell lasts 10-15 minutes. Just reaching the BBEG's castle took over 10-15 minutes. Heck, just cleaning up the whole tea set kills a few minutes. I had to boost the spell effect to two hours to make it useful.

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I recall I was a terrible Monty Haul DM when I first started DMing.  That campaign was not fun.  Ever since, I've been very careful about what magic items get handed out.  Arguably too careful but I always see this as a problem which can be easily fixed (unlike when your PCs already have overpowered magic items).

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The kids are working on the maps - and it was unanimous among those kids that actually replied that Rappan Athuck is a wee bit beyond their current abilities. (Unanimous in this case is four our, including Dain. The rest either did not get the e-mail, or did not care enough either way to reply.)

 

The next battle is going to be fun - using the Bones Lemures as 'Tar Zombies' - slower, tougher, and much, much stickier than regular zombies - but also more flammable. (Important - Dain now has Fireball - but the zeds are hiding in the goop on either side of the trail, so may be able to snare some PCs before the wizard can set them alight. ::): )

 

The Auld Grump

22 hours ago, Jokemeister said:

I recall I was a terrible Monty Haul DM when I first started DMing.  That campaign was not fun.  Ever since, I've been very careful about what magic items get handed out.  Arguably too careful but I always see this as a problem which can be easily fixed (unlike when your PCs already have overpowered magic items).

My problem has traditionally been the other side of that coin - way, way too stingy. (I actually find the treasure and wealth guidelines in 3.X and 3.P to be very useful. My players are certainly grateful for them. ::P: )

 

The Auld Grump

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I've never really had a problem with DMs being stingy on magic items, so long as certain ones are available, like healing potions, and they're not stingy with the money as well as the items. After all, if you're going to make it hard for me to kill a bunch of monsters because they're resistant to non-magical weapons, you'd better give me a way to heal up after the inevitably protracted battle, as well as the means to afford that healing. After all, it doesn't do me any good if spellcasting services are available to cast cure moderate wounds if it costs 600gp for a single casting and the party as a whole has only scraped together about 400.

 

It really sucks when a DM decides that they're going to hold off on all magic items until like level 10, make spellcasting services rare and extremely expensive, and make cash something that's hard to come by. By the time you're level 5 or so you tend to start running into a lot more monsters that are resistant to non-magical damage rather than just certain damage types, so if you don't have a party with multiple casters it really breaks the game's assumption of balance. Like, I know a guy who once ran a game where cold iron weapons were considered brittle, so any time you hit with an attack you had to roll a percentile dice to see if you broke it, and you had a 25% chance of that. Rolling a 1 on an attack meant it automatically broke. And silvered weapons didn't exist. Instead quicksilver was treated like poison. So you had to keep a bottle of quicksilver on your person at all times, apply it to a blade, and then the effect only lasted for your next attack before it needed reapplied. Oh, and it required you to be trained in poisons or risk giving yourself mercury poisoning, which gave cumulative penalties to strength, dex, and wisdom for every time you poisoned yourself until you had cure disease cast on you. But it didn't apply that to whatever target you hit with it.

 

It was sort of narratively cool, but in play it was ridiculous because it made cold iron weapons almost worthless and silver was more likely to kill you than it was to kill a werewolf. From what I understand, he lost all his players almost instantly once they actually had to experience those rules in play.

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Posted (edited)

11 hours ago, Unruly said:

I've never really had a problem with DMs being stingy on magic items, so long as certain ones are available, like healing potions, and they're not stingy with the money as well as the items. After all, if you're going to make it hard for me to kill a bunch of monsters because they're resistant to non-magical weapons, you'd better give me a way to heal up after the inevitably protracted battle, as well as the means to afford that healing. After all, it doesn't do me any good if spellcasting services are available to cast cure moderate wounds if it costs 600gp for a single casting and the party as a whole has only scraped together about 400.

Reminds me of how magic item creation in D&D went from ridiculously complicated in 1st-2e AD&D to way too easy in 3e (the joke was take a masterwork item, cast some spells over it, bury it with gold, come back a week later and it's ready).

Edited by Cranky Dog
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Posted (edited)

But OTOH  while 3e magic item creation may have been too easy, at least there were some concrete rules for it. I remember in our 2e campaign someone wanted to make a magic item of some sort. The DM created this epic quest to get the components for it. It wasn't even a very powerful magic item either (like a +1 magic item, in terms of power level). I'm pretty sure we said "forget it!" I still don't know how to create magic items in 5e...

 

That being said, even in our 3e campaign making magic items were not exactly as described in the previous post, since it effectively took that character out of action for the time being, cost XP (delaying when they leveled up compared to the rest of the party), not to mention the needed resources. This was important because we often play sand-box-y campaigns, so if the character is out creating magic items, then they were not available for the adventure. Even making scrolls was an issue...!

 

Damon.

Edited by Lars Porsenna
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34 minutes ago, Lars Porsenna said:

But OTOH  while 3e magic item creation may have been too easy, at least there were some concrete rules for it. I remember in our 2e campaign someone wanted to make a magic item of some sort. The DM created this epic quest to get the components for it. It wasn't even a very powerful magic item either (like a +1 magic item, in terms of power level). I'm pretty sure we said "forget it!" I still don't know how to create magic items in 5e...

 

That being said, even in our 3e campaign making magic items were not exactly as described in the previous post, since it effectively took that character out of action for the time being, cost XP (delaying when they leveled up compared to the rest of the party), not to mention the needed resources. This was important because we often play sand-box-y campaigns, so if the character is out creating magic items, then they were not available for the adventure. Even making scrolls was an issue...!

 

Damon.

 

Depending on the campaign/adventure we'd just wait for the spellcasters to make stuff, as necessary.  It's not our job to track down or pay attention to every rumor of bandits, manticores, or undead.  Some DMs threaten the "bad guys advance their evil schemes" angle.  But we're not the only justice league in the world, and don't particularly want to play in a game where that is the case.  If we're not interested in the Ogre bandits before they burned down a town, we're unlikely to be amused by being forced into confronting them because the DM upped the ante.

 

RPG plots are a lot like friendships: the more you try to force them, the more resistance you get to them happening.  My groups have said "elf this, we planeshift and go adventuring in the beastlands" on more than one occasion. 

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5 hours ago, Lars Porsenna said:

But OTOH  while 3e magic item creation may have been too easy, at least there were some concrete rules for it. I remember in our 2e campaign someone wanted to make a magic item of some sort. The DM created this epic quest to get the components for it. It wasn't even a very powerful magic item either (like a +1 magic item, in terms of power level). I'm pretty sure we said "forget it!" I still don't know how to create magic items in 5e...

 

5e has very loose rules for magic item creation. It's not really codified much beyond "it can be done, it costs money, and it takes time." There are some cost, time, and required spellcasting guidelines, and then there's mention of the player needing to have the creation formula for the magic item, which can include all sorts of stuff like requiring a sword to be forged in lava. And that's about it.

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There is an Unearthed Arcana article on the WotC site with play test rules.  I believe it's part of the downtime article.

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Posted (edited)

 

Depending on the campaign/adventure we'd just wait for the spellcasters to make stuff, as necessary.  It's not our job to track down or pay attention to every rumor of bandits, manticores, or undead.  Some DMs threaten the "bad guys advance their evil schemes" angle.  But we're not the only justice league in the world, and don't particularly want to play in a game where that is the case.  If we're not interested in the Ogre bandits before they burned down a town, we're unlikely to be amused by being forced into confronting them because the DM upped the ante.



 

RPG plots are a lot like friendships: the more you try to force them, the more resistance you get to them happening.  My groups have said "elf this, we planeshift and go adventuring in the beastlands" on more than one occasion.

*EDIT*Having to repost pretty much every thing - The Worst Internet in the World, plus my good lady coming to pick me up....

 

Speaking as one of those GMs that will have the bad guys advance their evil plots if the PCs insist on sitting on their... thumbs... I can honestly say that I would not be sorry to see those players leave.

 

So sad, too bad, bye bye.

 

Sorry, but the monsters won't sit quietly in their caves, waiting for the PCs to kill them.

 

And the bad guys will go and do bad guy stuff if the heroes don't feel like being heroic today.

 

I want heroes, not murder hoboes - and I will not cater to the lazy elfed murder hoboes that want to wait a couple of weeks until their Orcbuster +2 is made.

 

If the PCs had stuff they were waiting on before going and doing what needed to be done, then odds are the town burns, as does whatever they were waiting on - and, sorry, no refunds.

 

Downtime is when to commission magic items that have a wait time.

 

The game has to be fun for the GM too - and what you describe does not sound like fun.

 

But here's the thing - neither your group nor I will likely have that hard to find replacements - the cardinal sin is thinking that there is only one style of play that fits all people.

 

And sometimes people can find that the other style is fun - one of the worst players that I have ever had told me that I ran the best game that he had ever been in. (Less happy making than it might sound - it left me wondering what I had done wrong... he really was a really bad player... <_< But he stayed in the game... he was having fun... even if his play style was... out of synch with everyone else in the group.)

 

For that matter, I had originally planned to, well, half arse the kids game, and just run Dungeon Crawl Classic adventures... which lasted until maybe the second session of Keep on the Borderlands. The kids want a story, not just a chance to run out and kill things.

 

High point of Tuesday's game was the halfling rogue trying to tackle the PC human wizard, to stop him from casting his Fireball.

 

Somewhere between declaring actions and his initiative, the halfling realized that casting Fireball in a swamp covered with tar pits might not be a good idea.

 

The wizard is both bigger and stronger than the halfling - the tackle... did not work. So... we ended up with the halfling wrapped around the wizard's legs and going 'Noooo!'

 

But it did stop the wizard from casting fireball - the wizard added insult by 'patting the halfling on his fuzzy little head and saying "Okay"'. (The two players are brothers... does it show? ::P )

 

They still have no clue how to put the maps together, so they are following the first map until its end, and then backtracking.

 

The evil petrified NPC rogue is still a petrified rogue - not because of trust issues, but because they don't want to spend the money.... At this rate, he may never get a chance to betray them.

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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On 5/3/2017 at 5:06 PM, TheAuldGrump said:

Speaking as one of those GMs that will have the bad guys advance their evil plots if the PCs insist on sitting on their... thumbs... I can honestly say that I would not be sorry to see those players leave.

 

So sad, too bad, bye bye.

 

Sorry, but the monsters won't sit quietly in their caves, waiting for the PCs to kill them.

 

And the bad guys will go and do bad guy stuff if the heroes don't feel like being heroic today.

 

I want heroes, not murder hoboes - and I will not cater to the lazy elfed murder hoboes that want to wait a couple of weeks until their Orcbuster +2 is made.

Preach on.

This was kind of a prerequisite of my recruiting my last group. I asked that they bring heroes to the table. Don't have to be goody two shoes overly pure give all the loot to the poor heroes, but at least heroes who won't look at the dragon swooping down towards the orphanage and say "How much money do we stand to make?"

 

Quote

Sorry, but the monsters won't sit quietly in their caves, waiting for the PCs to kill them.

This needs repeating though. This is a thing two of my players just could not handle and ragequit over.

They seemed to expect everything to stay quiet and inactive or doing whatever idle activity the module says they're doing until their rooms are entered, and encounters, especially boss ones, to be "to the death". Elf that, if you want that experience go play Skyrim or something.

 

On 5/3/2017 at 5:06 PM, TheAuldGrump said:

 

The game has to be fun for the GM too - and what you describe does not sound like fun.

Yeah, if I as a DM work my butt off to prep an adventure and then the group says "screw it let's sit on our asses waiting for mad magic swagz or planeshift to somewhere impromptu" I am not going to have fun. And I want to have fun too, that's the point.

 

On 5/3/2017 at 5:06 PM, TheAuldGrump said:

But here's the thing - neither your group nor I will likely have that hard to find replacements - the cardinal sin is thinking that there is only one style of play that fits all people.

Pretty much this.

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